Production of the Ruger 10/22 started in 1964. There are to me, only two really great .22 rimfire rifles ever made the Marlin model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. These two rifles are the best quality .22 long rifles you can buy. The reason I prefer the Ruger 10/22 over the Marlin is customization and detachable magazines. Though there is nothing at all wrong with the marlin its biggest draw back is the magazine tube. The tubular magazine is completely reliable and I have used one many times. Sadly for the Marlin model 60 the tube magazine is not tactically cool. In the days of Ar-15 tacticoolness with pistol grip stocks, folders and drum mags. There is no problem with the gun itself, but it has been left behind in terms of accessory customization.
Why should I buy a Ruger 10/22?
Well if your not going to buy the Ruger then buy the Marlin. If you buy anything else you will regret it. Though there are other options, your really just wasting your money if you do not buy Ruger or Marlin.
What can you do with a Ruger 10/22?
You can pretty much do anything to your Ruger 10/22. You want to make it a rifle that looks like a Ar-15 then buy one of the Ar-22 kits. This kit will allow you to use ar-15 stocks and free floating handguards on your Ruger 10/22. Say your like me and have a love of Soviet firearms and want to make it look like a Russian AK. Then you would just need to get a a krinker plinker kit and transform it into a aks-74u look alike. You can even make the Ruger 10/22 into a great target rifle. Simply replace the barrel and get a nice target stock and you will have a gun capable of destroying rodents. The fact is you can do anything you want. This gun has been around so long that somebody somewhere has made whatever you are looking for. You can really break your bank customizing this gun to your liking.